Candidates begin to emerge as parties race to take John Arnold's former House Seat

09/24/2013 10:59 AM

After both parties spent record amounts on an open state House race in June, they are again gearing up for another battle in Western Kentucky as a precursor to the 2014 elections.

The Republican front runner for the special election in the 7th House District in Union County and parts of Henderson and Daviess counties seems to be Suzanne Miles, a staffer for Congressman Brett Guthrie. Miles is also the daughter of well-known Owensboro businessman and long time University of Kentucky trustee Billy Joe Miles.

Miles has confirmed to Pure Politics that she’s considering the race and said that she would be honored to be the Republican nominee for the race.

Democrats on the other hand are having a more difficult time finding a candidate to replace disgraced Democratic Representative John Arnold, D-Sturgis.

Arnold, the 19-year veteran Democratic lawmaker, resigned earlier this month amid allegations that he sexually harassed legislative staff members.

Representative Tommy Thompson, D-Philpot, said there is one more person Democratic leaders in the area are reaching out to for the race. Otherwise, former state Senator David Boswell said he might step in.

Boswell said his family will play a role in his decision whether or not he will run for the seat but he is willing to look at it.

“If there’s a younger candidate or someone who is willing to take on the responsibility from either Henderson, Union or Daviess counties then certainly that is a consideration I will take,” Boswell said.

Democrats hold the chamber by a 54-45 margin, a margin Democrats say they must keep it for political and symbolic reasons.

“We are the only chamber in the south that is still Democratic and we want to maintain that,” Representative Tommy said in an interview over the weekend. “So this district is important to maintain, its been Democrat for a long time and we want to keep it that way.”

A date for the special election has not yet been set. Governor Steve Beshear told Pure Politics he would like to have the election before January when lawmakers convene for the 2014 session.

About Pure Politics

Pure Politics airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. ET and again at 11:30 p.m. ET in all of cn|2's Kentucky markets. The program features political analysis and news, as well as interviews with officials, candidates, policy makers and political observers.

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